Richard Onslow Cranleigh

A drive through the beautiful Surrey Hills brought us to lunch at The Richard Onslow in England’s largest village, Cranleigh.

The Richard Onslow cranleigh

Located in a neat building, parts of which date back 500 years, on the high street, the pub started life as a coaching inn. They still have ten hotel rooms, some of which are dog friendly – perfect for a weekend of dog walks in the surrounding hills.

The restaurant area is a delightful, I want to say Georgian, room complete with double aspect sash windows that let in tons of light giving the room an airy feel. I particularly love the super long double fronted banquette down the centre of the room.

main Georgian dining area The Richard Onslow pub

It’s a Peach Pub (their only Surrey location), a group of pubs that pride themselves on preparing all fresh food, seasonally sourced where possible from British suppliers. Menus change seasonally, as well as a good selection of specials. Service is super friendly and the vibe is relaxed.

To the left of the entrance is a charming pub area. It’s a contrast the the restaurant area, has a much older feel and comes complete with a working Inglenook fireplace and flagstone floors.

open fire in pub area The Richard Onslow
The entire building was completely renovated when Peach Pubs bought the property six years ago and feels current and fresh.

In addition to outside tables along the high street in front of the pub there’s also a dining area in the old coaching inn’s courtyard.

Court yard al fresco seating area The Richard Onslow

For lunch, Jman started with the Soup of the day, broccoli and stilton £5.25. He really like the croutons on the side concept, they were nice and salty and he could control how many we in the soup. The soup itself was good and nippy from the stilton, very morish.

broccoli and stilton soup with croutons The Richard Onslow

I started with the Free range smoked duck, almond, watercress & orange salad, quackling £8.75. I was surprised when it came, I thought I was getting little pieces of duck in a whole lot of lettuce, instead I got a big piece of nicely flavoured, moist duck with great orange flavours. The quackling was quacker jack.

smoked Duck salad The Richard Onslow

For his main, Jman chose, again from the specials board, Sauteed chicken, smoked bacon & mushroom sauce, Dauphinoise potato £13. The dish was full of flavour and the chicken nice and juicy. He was very pleased with his choice.

sauteed Chicken The Richard Onslow

For my main I had the Roast squash, spinach & barley wellington, vegetarian gravy £13.75. When I saw barley on the menu I immediately had to order it, it reminds me of my childhood. I’d always loved it then in the stews my mother made and it was a super treat to find it on a menu (having never noticed it on an English menu before.)

It was a unique vegetarian dish,interesting with lots of flavours and all round yummy, though I did wish for a bit more squash.

Vegetarian en croute barley and butternut squash The Richard Onslow

Despite the January pledge to watch our weight, we couldn’t resist sharing the Lemon tart, toasted marshmallows and a poached fruit salad £6 The other bits on the plate are white chocolate (the triangles and the ‘stick’) I felt like I’d stepped onto the set of Masterchef when the plate was set down in front of us.

We immediately cursed ourselves for not ordering two desserts (or three). We were expecting standard lemon tart but got something special. If passing through Cranleigh definitely stop in if only for dessert.

Amazing lemon tart dessert The Richard Onslow

The Richard Onslow serves up an impressive quality of food in a great old building and is definitely worth a visit. My complements to the chef.

113 – 117 High St, Cranleigh Village, Surrey, GU6 8AU
www.therichardonslow.co.uk
Street parking or town lots
Dogs welcome

We were guests of The Richard Onslow but this is no way biased my review.

Red Lion Shepperton

In another Sunday lunch outing with just my husband (no kids!) we headed over the river to test out the completely revamped Red Lion in Shepperton.

Red Lion Shepperton exterior

It’s not often you’re greeted by a beautiful display of fresh flowers upon entering a pub. That was the first clue we were in for a treat.

the Red Lion shepperton fresh flower display

New, enthusiastic owners have completely redone The Red Lion, from top to bottom.

The result is possibly the most current pub in Surrey. Fresh, stylish and modern but with original features and loads of character. It also manages to maintain a true casual feel.

The new version opened its doors on September 1st.

Red Lion Shepperton fireplace interior

The indoor pub area was perhaps my favourite room. It had such a great vibe and was unique and fresh feeling – not your standard stylish gastropub.

Red Lion Shepperton interior

On busier days they open the ‘snug,’ which is a room in the ‘other’ building, alongside the front patio. It’s bright but cosy and a calm space to relax in.

Red Lion Shepperton snug

The restaurant “room,” though nice enough, was my least favourite area of the pub (something’s got to be last place.) If I were to eat in the restaurant section I would specifically request a table at the front of the pub, in the restaurant area beside the bar (near the big fireplace pictured above.)

Red Lion Shepperton restaurant

A restaurant al fresco dining area (full table service) is nicely enclosed from the road.

Red Lion Shepperton al fresco restaurant seating

There’s an eyecatching outdoor pub seating area, though there’s no backs on seats.

Red Lion Shepperton outside seating

There’s a riverside garden along the Thames (across the road from the pub.) At the moment it’s the only part of the pub that hasn’t been redone however they have big plans for the space. In spring they are going to deck the entire area to create seating for 60, along with building a pagoda with an outdoor kitchen.

Red Lion Shepperton riverside dining area

The menu is changed daily. This means that the food is both interesting and fresh. It also means a smaller selection, which is generally fine though vegetarians may struggle.

Our service was very helpful and friendly.

We enjoyed our window seat.

Red Lion Shepperton river view

We didn’t feel like an entire appetiser each but were lured by the sound of the ‘cauliflower soup, with mushrooms & brioche £5.75‘ They suggested splitting the portion between us and served it to us in two cups.

It ended up being the perfect size. It was super yummy, the taste was enhanced perfectly by the mushrooms.

Red Lion Shepperton cauliflower soup

My husband had the ‘salt beef stovie with spinach, fried egg & mustard sauce £11.50.’ It was very tasty with a good mix of flavours and nice textures. It was a good lunch sized portion but he was glad he’d had the soup.

Red Lion Shepperton stovie

I had the beetroot & onion tart, caramelised goat cheese, apple & walnut salad £7.55. Technically a starter, there are a few ingredients I find impossible to pass up – beetroot and goat cheese are two of them – even if they are on the wrong course.

The pastry was so flakey it actually made a crunchy sound when cutting through. Everything about it was delicious. With the 1/2 soup, it was filling for me for lunch.

Red Lion Shepperton beetroot and goat cheese tart

Our food was fabulous and the ambiance was fabulous.

Move over Surrey pubs, there’s a new lion in town. If this sets the new standard for Surrey pubs we’re very excited indeed.

Russell Rd, Shepperton, Surrey, TW17 9HX
Small car park.
Dogs welcome outside and in the bar area.

The Old Plough Stoke D’Abernon

We went out for a Sunday lunch and got stuck in traffic. Unable to turn around because we’d find ourselves in even heavier traffic, we found ourselves at The Old Plough in Stoke D’Abernon.

The Old Plough is a sister pub to our beloved The Red Lion in Horsell. They belong to a small group of five pubs located around Surrey (plus one in Twickenham.)

The Old Plough Cobham exterior

Inside there are restaurant and bar areas. Both are nicely decorated and manage to project a relaxed vibe despite being packed.

The dining room is one large space rather than several little rooms.

The Old Plough Cobham interior

The garden and patio areas are lovely. Seating areas are spaciously set and there’s plenty of greenery. The patio circles a large tree, which create a unique setting. There are tables & chairs with backs on the patio and picnic tables in the garden area.

The Old Plough Cobham garden

They even have an actual old plough.

Service is friendly and very efficient. There are plenty of staff, which means short wait times to place your order and for your food to arrive.

There are some harmonies between the five locations, however specials are unique and are changed twice daily by each location’s chef.

The Old Plough Cobham the actual old plough

The Sunday set menu is a good deal, at two courses for £17.95 (including roasts.) However, it wasn’t clear that the roasts can be ordered on their own. My husband, not feeling hungry enough for two courses instead opted for a sandwich, but it turns out you can indeed order the roasts individually.

He chose the ‘Crispy bacon, brie, tomato & rocket served on granary with a small bowl of home cut chips £7.25.’ The sandwich was very nice and the chips were fine. He was looking longingly as roasts were brought out to other tables, particularly as they had the biggest Yorkshire puddings around.

The Old Plough Cobham bacon brie tomato sandwich

I had, from memory as unfortunately I can’t find my notes for the exact description, a piri piri chicken with a flavoured mayo and by the looks of it some rocket. It came “Served on ciabatta with a small bowl of home cut chips £7.50 The chicken was perfectly cooked but I was expecting some bite from the piri piri. It was enjoyable but not as good as my sandwich at The Red Lion (you’ll note I went for the chips this time!)

The Old Plough Cobham piri piri chicken ciabatta and chips

The Old Plough has undergone a few transformations over the past 10 years, finally it seems to have owners that have realised its potential.

Station Road, Stoke D’Abernon, Surrey, KT11 3BN
www.oldploughcobham.co.uk
Car park
Dogs welcome in the garden and in the bar area.

Red Lion Horsell Bar

The Red Lion Horsell

Some glorious mid-week sunshine had the Red Lion’s patio calling our names and off to Horsell we went. Set on Horsell High Street. Large car park.

red lion horsell

It’s BBC’s James Cannon’s favourite Surrey restaurant for good reason. The whole pub is beautifully maintained and tastefully decorated inside and out, with not so much as a throw cushion out of place. It’s smart and stylish yet comfortable.

red lion horsell

Inside you’ll find several well appointed rooms with exposed brick, an open fire and some inviting sofas and chairs. It’s a thoroughly modern gastropub, there’s no “stuff on the walls” here and it’s nice and bright.

red lion horsell

Outside is even better, with gorgeous flowers everywhere you look. There’s a good sized enclosed patio arranged around a couple of nice trees and heaps of flowers.

DSC_0843

Behind the patio is a large secluded garden with plenty of picnic tables and yet more flowers.

red lion horsell

It’s certainly one of the best lunch menus around and the regular menu is good too. The menu is wide enough that it’s impossible not to find something you fancy. The real challenge here is choosing just one thing. All of the food is freshly prepared. The service is friendly and welcoming.

We both elected to have sandwiches, the sandwiches here are a notch above your regular sandwich.

Marie had chicken, pesto mayonnaise, red peppers & spinach. The bread was lovely and the contents full of flavour. It came with a not very exciting salad. She looked longingly to Lynn’s chips and realised she made the wrong choice of sides.

red lion horsell

Lynn had steak, onion marmalade and wholegrain mustard served on ciabatta. It was a nice solid satisfying sandwich. Good chips, she had to eat them quick before Marie could steal any.

red lion horsell

It’s difficult to say anything negative about The Red Lion, it’s just a lovely place with lovely food.

Menu 5
Food 4
Decor/Ambiance 4
Service 4
Value 4
Total 21/25

High Street, Horsell, Surrey, GU21 4SS Website – www.redlionhorsell.co.uk
Dogs welcomed in the garden